WHO coronavirus inquiry report, China, Nationals Senator Matt Canavan


China acted like it had “something to hide” and dragged out an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, Nationals senator Matt Canavan said.

The swipe comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday night released a report saying it was unlikely the virus leaked from a laboratory.

Instead, it was likely to have been transmitted to humans via an animal species and potentially frozen food. But there was no conclusive evidence.

Speaking on Today, Senator Canavan said he was not surprised that it was hard to find the origins a year after the pandemic began.

“We needed this inquiry to start pretty much straightaway if there was any hope of finding conclusions and it hasn’t,” he said.

“Through this whole process, China’s acted like it had something to hide and it has frustrated the inquiry, dragged it out.”

Senator Canavan said the world would benefit from knowing where the virus came from so it could be prevented.

But he wasn’t confident that would happen.

“We will probably never know because China has not been fully transparent with the world,” he said.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told Sky that it was “not surprising that there are no surprises” in the WHO report.

“The overwhelming likelihood is that you have an animal based source, and that the virus is likely to arise somewhere in the vicinity of the first human cases,” Mr Hunt said.

He was also asked if the government had “no regrets” pushing for the global inquiry.

“I think it’s very important that we look at all fronts,” Mr Hunt said, adding that Australia was doing that with its hotel quarantine system.



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